Immigrants come to the United Kingdom as refugees, asylum seekers, or students. A group of interest for discussion in this paper is asylum seekers. These are individuals who are seeking protection in other countries as a result of ill-treatment and hostility, especially because of race, political, and religious beliefs (Bansak, Hainmueller & Hangartner, 2016). The United Kingdom, one of the countries that support humanitarian approaches has been accommodating asylum seekers whose numbers keep on changing depending on the political intolerance in other countries. While it is a good step for the UK to take care of these individuals, their existence in the county has got several negative effects which include economic burden, crimes, and pressure on resources.
The statistics of asylum seekers has been changing over time. In the year 2016, they composed of 6 percent of immigrants in UK. However, this number reached its peak in the year 2002 where 88 percent of immigrants were asylum seekers. In 2015, the number reduced to 32733 and later went down to 30747 in 2016. In the year 2016, 37% of them were nationals from Asian countries, 29% were from Middle Eastern countries, 23% from Africa, and 7% from European nations. According to Hatton (2016), United Kingdom is below the average among the EU states for asylum applications. It is ranked 17th among the EU28 countries.
While it is important to ensure that every individual is safe irrespective of the country of origin, the humanitarian approaches have been problematic to the United Kingdom. First, they cause financial constrain. Basically, asylum seekers are supported financially for accommodation and other basic needs required for survival. According to Hatton (2016), on average, especially to the ones with families take approximately 80 dollars per week. The total amount of this money is enough to improve infrastructure in the country were it not that these people remained in their origin countries. In other words, money that should be used to manage some activities are channeled to asylum seekers for their up keep in the country.
Another problem that UK experiences as a result of asylum seekers is pressure on the resources. When they are in the country, they have to be provided with basic needs which include houses. Housing is one of the major problems of most countries across the globe, hence any factor that limits their number is directly affecting citizens. If the asylum seekers qualify for 95 support they are moved into units, mainly flats and shared houses (Hatton, 2016). These houses could have been used to settle a number of citizens in the country. Lastly, there are certain criminal activities which have been on the rise as a result of these immigrants. Some of them even after being given money for accommodation still sleep outside harassing citizens.
In conclusion, while it is important to accommodate immigrants as advised by the international community, sometimes their existence is of negative effect to the host country. Specifically, asylum seekers in the United Kingdom cause financial constrain in the country. Additionally, they increase pressure on resources such as housing. Lastly, their existence has been associated with criminal activities such as theft. Statistically, number of asylum seekers reached its peak in the year 2002 where 88 percent of immigrants were asylum seekers. In 2015, the number reduced to 32733 and later went down to 30747 in 2016.
Bansak, K., Hainmueller, J., & Hangartner, D. (2016). How economic, humanitarian, and religious concerns shape European attitudes toward asylum seekers. Science, aag2147.
Hatton, T. J. (2016). Refugees, asylum seekers, and policy in OECD countries. American Economic Review, 106(5), 441-45.
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